Report from the End New Mexico Hunger Summit

This week, our Executive Director Kevin Mullins traveled to New Mexico to participate in the End New Mexico Hunger​ Summit. Kevin talked about Community Plates​ and how communities CAN make a difference in battling American food insecurity by becoming a food runner or food donor and rescuing fresh food that would otherwise been thrown away, and delivering it to families in need through our partner organizations.

It was great to be around so many people dissatisfied with the reality of hunger in New Mexico. There was a great response in our breakout session to the idea of ending food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue and a whole new group getting access to our technology to get started. This bodes well for the 113,000 people (40,000 of them children) in Bernalillo County who are in need. We’re on our way to getting the 100 new food runners in place we need by the end of this year.

Thank you to all the support we received while traveling in New Mexico, and to our food runners, food donors, and partner organizations in the Albuquerque area!

Seeking the Key Member of the Fairfield County Food Rescue Team

By now you probably know what we’re about but just in case you don’t, we’re all about ending American food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue. We are in our 4th year of food rescue, where we have our sights set on rescuing 4,000,000 meals for hungry Americans.  We have a small but potent team but as you can see our vision for addressing this problem without a good reason for being is anything but small. Our core team is made up of passionate, energetic people who are consumed with delivering as much good food to those in need as possible. Our team values simplicity, community, gratitude, creativity and “saying yes.”

If this sounds like you and you’d like to be a part of the food rescue revolution at a very integral level, Community Plates is for you. Join us and be ready to share what you’ve learned, what you do best and who you are and then get ready to make a huge difference for your neighbors and people all over the country.

Position

We are seeking a leader passionate about positive change to direct Fairfield County, our flagship site. The requirements are simple; ability to build and motivate a team, strong computer skills and strong organizational skills for managing all the moving parts of direct transfer food rescue in Fairfield County. This position is about commitment to rapid growth focused on 100,000 plus individuals in this county who can’t provide for themselves the food they or their families need to live healthily.

The function of the National team is to administratively support our site directors in their food rescue mission, so when considering if you’re right for this opportunity think less about filling out stacks of paperwork and more about passionately motivating a movement.

Position Benefits

· Ground floor access and voice to a game changing, innovative food justice platform.

· Ability to work directly with Community Plate’s core team including our National Site Director and Executive Director.

· Opportunity to see direct impact on underserved peoples.

· Monthly cash stipend.

Responsibilities

• Build and manage Fairfield County’s direct transfer food rescue team.
• Set and meet growth goals related to annual “meals rescued” goals.
• Identify potential donors (both in-kind and financial) for followup.
• Public speaking a plus but not required.
• Work with National Site Director to develop GoRescue food rescue application.

Qualifications

• Interest in non-profit organizations, passion for the cause and a desire to learn about and support Community Plate’s mission.
• Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
• Knowledge of: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Twitter, Facebook
• Ability to manage time, balance multiple tasks, and meet deadlines
• Familiarity and previous Community Plates experience a plus

Compensation & Time

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible

· Compensation: Monthly cash stipend

· Time: 10-15 hours per week, schedule can be determined based on availability all hours can be completed remotely.

· Location: Wherever you can be doing the most good

· Will review applications on a rolling basis

 

How to Apply: To apply, send cover letter and resume to opportunities@communityplates.org. Please include “Fairfield County Site Director” in the subject line.

b.good Fairfield Hosts Grand Opening Party: Benefits Community Plates

12002058_1496727283973912_8579637813636756531_nCommunity Plates newest parter in Connecticut is b.good will be hosting a Grand Opening party on Saturday, September 19. Stop by to meet the Community Plates team, enjoy great food and live music, and most of all, give back! b.Good is donating 15% of their profits from the party to Community Plates. Join us!

b.good Opens in Fairfield via CTbites

Grand Opening: b.good Fairfield via Fairfield Sun

b.good Fairfield Hosts Grand Opening Party via OmNomCT

b.good Fairfield Announces Community Plates Partnership

New restaurant, b.good Fairfield, has announced their Grand Opening on September 19, 2015, 11AM – 9PM. This also marks the beginning of an important relationship with their local, permanent community partner, food rescue organization Community Plates. Opening day will include music, giveaways and real food, served fast. Community Plates will receive 15% of all proceeds from the day to continue expansion of their food rescue program in Fairfield County. In addition, the restaurant provides their customers with ongoing opportunities and reminders to help Community Plates fight hunger locally, using their online b.good app.

b.good owner Steve Hourihan said, “b.good Fairfield is honored to support the great work of Community Plates as our partner in the fight against hunger in Fairfield County. b.good is here to revolutionize the way Fairfield defines fast food by providing wholesome, real food made by people, not factories. Community Plates has addressed local food insecurity with that same passion. We both strive to reduce our environmental footprint, make nutrition obtainable, and remember the people who make and receive our meals.”

Community Plates Executive Director commented, “We are thrilled to have been designated as b.good Fairfield’s Community Partner. Our philosophies are in perfect sync with each other and this unique type of partnership will help us continue to fund our food rescue efforts in Fairfield County. “

For the past twelve years b.good has been committed to making and serving its customers “real food”. To b.good that has always meant the food served had to be made by real people, not factories. By the very nature of being true to this mission, b.good serves delicious, wholesome food that people feel good about eating. “Real” means showing customers how food is made, what’s in it and where it comes from. It means telling the story of the food through the people who produce, raise and then cook it in the restaurants. With 28 restaurants presently located in eight states and Ontario, Canada, b.good competes in the exploding healthy, fast, casual restaurant space.

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other foodservice organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families.

Food Runner Profile: Tracy Elzy, Columbus

On behalf of Hunger Action Month, we are profiling some of the wonderful people who make Community Plates work — our volunteer food runners!


Tracy Elzy, Columbus

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Currently: Graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Community Plates (Columbus, Ohio) Food Runner

11046715_930408586993417_1915230481599144403_oWhy did you become a volunteer food runner for Community Plates?

The reason that I became a volunteer food runner for Community Plates is that having enough to eat is such a basic and important need for all people. A large part of my spiritual practice includes community service, specifically, ensuring that people have enough food. Through volunteering with Community Plates, I can be a part of the change that I wish to see in the world in a very real and tangible way. I also enjoy getting to know the clients we serve, as well as the hardworking folks at our partner agencies. Also, the realization that I am actually saving good food that would otherwise have been thrown out, appeals to my concern for our planet and its resources.

Photo: The attached photo is of myself and the Bishop from St. Sophia Cathedral during one of my many drop-offs from Fox in the Snow bakery this summer.

Community Plates Receives $15,000 Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Grant to Expand Food Rescue Operations

Community Plates, the CT based, national food rescue organization, has received a $15,000 grant from the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to support the expansion of the organization’s food rescue program in Fairfield County.

Executive Director Kevin Mullins said, “We are grateful that Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is so focused on funding innovation and collaborative solutions, because ending hunger in Fairfield County is going to require both innovation and collaboration. One hundred percent of this grant goes to funding this simple solution to ending hunger, right here in Fairfield County.”

Since 2011, in Fairfield County alone, Community Plates has rescued and delivered 6.3 million meals, saving 9.5 million pounds of food from landfill. Conservatively, this has an estimated value of over $10.4 million.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded over $185 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org .

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other foodservice organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families.

Five Ways You Can Support Hunger Action Month Locally

Hunger affects every community, and during Hunger Action Month, Community Plates is sharing five ways you can make a difference in your own neighborhood:

  1. Sign-up to become a Community Plates Food Runner.

Millions of meals have been rescued and millions of hungry Americans have been fed because volunteers on their own time and in their own cars are taking on this senseless problem of food insecurity. It’s easy to become a food runner. Sign-up to use our app that will connect you with food rescue opportunities in your city. Don’t see your city? Let us know.

  1. Share a Food Insecurity Fact.

Did you know that there are over 48 million food insecure individuals in the United States, or 1 in 6 Americans, and 1 in 5 American children?

Food insecurity affects so many, and in our backyard. Share a fact with your friends and family to help us build local awareness. Interested in more facts? Check out the Hunger in America’s research.

  1. Thank your local volunteer food runners and food donors.

Gratitude is important to us, it’s one of our core values. Everyday, we’re blown away by the passion and commitment of our volunteer food runners and donors. Help us take the time to thank our volunteers and donors, here are some in your community.

  1. Join the community and follow and tag #CommunityPlates on social media!
  1. Get your favorite market or restaurant to donate instead of waste.

This is easier than you think. Learn more about becoming a Community Plates food donor.

Letter from the Director: Hunger Action Month

When we began four years ago, many people were unaware of the huge number of American’s who struggle to eat every day, let alone healthily. However, that tide is turning. 1 in 6 Americans, and 1 in 5 American children, are food insecure and during September’s Hunger Action Month we all have the opportunity to help tell the story of this country’s hungry. More importantly it gives us a chance to focus on changing this senseless reality for good.

Here are some suggestions on how to get involved in Hunger Action Month:

  • Find out about hunger where you live. What are the hunger numbers in your area? Who’s doing a good job taking care of those people in need? Who are the innovators where you are in tackling this problem head on?
  • Tell someone else about American hunger. I always link to this 4 year old 60 Minutes piece when I can, because I’m still blown away with the story it tells about people just like me, who live in a place much like where I live, who struggle to provide food for their families. I also really like this recent John Oliver piece on Food Waste. If all of us tell a few more people we’ll be that much closer to bringing hunger to an end.
  • Take the “Action” part of Hunger Action Month seriously. Do something to stop this! If you’re a Community Plates food runner, sign up for an extra run and then post the pictures to your social media feeds. If you aren’t a Community Plates food runner, sign up here http://communityplate.wpengine.com/go-rescue/ and you can be rescuing food and feeding people within days. Volunteer in a community food pantry, soup kitchen or shelter. If you need an idea of who’s doing good work, let us know. If each of us do something, we will be that much closer to ending this senseless problem.

Community Plates is a simple solution to ending American hunger and it’s all of you that power what we do. You are our “action!”

Food for all,

Kevin Mullins

Executive Director, Community Plates

Food Runner Profile: Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

On behalf of Hunger Action Month, we are profiling some of the wonderful people who make Community Plates work — our volunteer food runners!


 

Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

IMG_4967Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Currently: Student at Tulane University and Community Plates New Orleans Food Runner

Why did you become a volunteer food runner for Community Plates?

Before I even saw it on the website, when I heard about Community Plates I joined because it just makes sense! I cringe when I contribute to food waste on a personal level, so to think by becoming a food runner I could have an impact on a macro level was amazing. Especially as a student this is the PERFECT volunteer opportunity because you don’t always know what your week is going to look like but you do often have pockets of free time during the day. Also it is an incredible way to be more intimately connected to your community.

 

If you are interested in becoming a food runner for Community Plates, you can sign up to access our Community Plates app and connect with food runs in your area.

Community Plates at The Farm to Table International Symposium (F2T)

Our executive director Kevin Mullins and founder Jeff Schacher will be leading a breakout session, Food Rescue Revolution: Community Plates and the End of Hunger in the United States,  at the upcoming Farm to Table International Symposium in New Orleans on Saturday, August 8, 2015. If you’re on Twitter, follow the action: #f2ti15

“This conference is a perfect fit for our platform since we will be surrounded by food innovators. We’re looking forward to learning how we can become more effective and letting people know about our simple solution to American hunger,” said Kevin Mullins, Community Plates executive director.

Kevin_web

Kevin Mullins

Jeff_web

Jeff Schacher

About F2T

The Farm to Table International Symposium (F2T) features the brightest thought leaders and leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. F2T explores the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. Topics include farming and aquaculture, fisheries, sustainability, social and digital interactive media, food security and safety, food law and policy, food science and GMO, artisanal and slow food and drink, and fair trade.

The Symposium takes place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event featuring related exhibits and attracting food and beverage professional from throughout the country.

For more information about the event, visit f2t-int.com.